I define bullying and harassment as illegitimate attempts to control. By counting harassment as a form of bullying, I am not trying to downgrade it in any way. Rather, I want targets to understand what is happening to them ASAP, as the sooner the behaviours are challenged, the easier it is to do so, and less damage to the target will have been done. So the questions potential targets need to ask themselves are “Why am I feeling uncomfortable? Am I being treated in ways that are legitimate.”
I will refer to the entertainment industries in my examples though I won’t refer to actual, real cases. I’m using the entertainment industries because bullies and harassers look for three things from their employment: Status, Power, and Opportunity so employers like the BBC can be magnets for them. It is no coincidence that Harvey Weinstein worked in the music and then film industry and that Jimmy Savile worked for the BBC.
Often when young people get their first job in the entertainment industry, it is their dream job – bullies and harassers take advantage of this. For example, a perpetrator might make fun of a target’s skills; if the target doesn’t respond by setting a boundary, the perpetrator might think them a good dumping ground for blame if anything goes wrong. The example I use is runners. A first Assistant Director might see a runner as a good dumping ground if production falls behind schedule.
The response should ALWAYS be polite, “You don’t know me yet, I’m new at this, so I expect that I will make mistakes, but I’m sure you will try to be a good teacher.” #workplacebullying #harassment #bullyingawareness #bullyingprevention